If you go down to the woods… You’re sure of a fantastic autumn

Forestry England has predicted an impressive display of autumn colours that will start now and continue through to mid-November.

Autumn lovers are in for a treat, with 2019 promising to host a particularly vibrant season.

A spell of very wet weather in mid-June, with some parts of the UK receiving 2.5 times the monthly average rainfall, followed by the abundance of sunshine in July, are the perfect conditions to produce a colourful display in the nation’s woodlands.

This balance of rain and sunshine allows trees to flourish and produce plenty of sugars, which creates the colours in the leaves.

There is also great news for our forest wildlife, with experts predicting a bumper year for fruit and nuts.

Brightly coloured Autumn leaves against a blue sky. (Pic: Alamy)

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‘The fruit and nut blossoms managed to escape the frost in early spring and the rain in June has helped the fruits to swell,’ said Andrew Smith, Forestry England’s director at Westonbirt, the National Arboretum in Gloucestershire.

‘July’s sunshine and warm weather helped them to continue to grow which means we should see a great year for fruit and nuts.

‘The same weather conditions are ideal for producing sugar in leaves which is further reassurance that it will be a brilliant year for autumn colour.’

Anglesey Abbey autumn colours

Anglesey Abbey is particularly splendid in autumn colours (Pic: Alamy)

Experts from Forestry England plan to visit Japan in September to collect wild seeds, to ensure that we have fantastic autumn colour for years to come.

‘We will be visiting Japan in early autumn collecting seeds from native Japanese trees with a focus on the conifers whilst working with various botanic gardens and forestry departments in the country,’ said Daniel Luscombe, Forestry England’s collections manager at Bedegbury, the National Pinetum and Forest.

‘This is so we can keep our great looking trees, resilient to climate change, well into the future.

‘Several of the Japanese species we will be collecting are at risk of going extinct and many of the maples we are hoping to collect will either be new to Westonbirt Arboretum and Bedgebury Pinetum or will be providing the next generation of trees for visitors to enjoy, say in a 100 years’ time.

‘The autumn colour over in Japan will be stunning and seeing how trees grow together in the wild gives us ideas and inspiration on how to use them to shape our landscapes.’